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Buffy is alone looking at caskets. She stops in front of one. As she lifts the lid the overhead lights come on, and Giles and Dawn enter the room with the funeral director. The funeral director asks if she's found one, and Buffy tells him her choice. Dawn steps over to inspect the casket. Buffy, Giles and the other guy start to leave, but Dawn is still looking at the caskets. Buffy asks if Dawn doesn't like it; Dawn wonders if their mother would like something else. Buffy says that it wasn't a good idea for Dawn to come there. The funeral director asks amiably if they need a few more minutes to decide. Buffy says firmly that they don't; the choice has been made. The other three go, leaving Dawn standing by the coffin.

At the Summers' house, Buffy and Giles discuss the funeral arrangements as they sit at the dining room table with Dawn, Xander, and Willow. Buffy wonders how to let people at the funeral service know that they're not having a wake because Joyce didn't want one. Buffy remembers that Joyce thought that potluck dinners were depressing enough. Dawn asks when she said that. Buffy says that they had a talk before Joyce went into surgery. Dawn mutters that she never said anything about it to her. The phone rings. Buffy asks Giles to get it; she will only talk to the caller if it's her Dad. Giles listens for a moment and then proceeds to give the caller the time and place of the funeral. Buffy complains that her dad still hasn't called even though they've left messages for him everywhere. She goes back to fretting over the announcement that there'll be no wake. Dawn wonders quietly if they'll come back home after the service. She says, mostly to herself, that she doesn't want to come back there. Dawn asks if she can go to Willow's. Buffy, a little surprised, replies, "If you want to. I guess so..."

Xander and Willow step out onto the porch. Willow says that she's going to stop and see her mother; she's been doing that a lot lately. Spike arrives with flowers, saying he's not going in, he just wants to leave them. He claims he is paying his respects to Joyce because she was a nice lady, and the only one of them that he could stand. Xander doesn't want to hear it; he thinks Spike is only trying to earn points with Buffy. They argue back and forth, until Spike throws the flowers down, saying, "think what you want." Xander is still ranting about Spike's nerve while Willows picks up the flowers and observes that there's no card (and thus Spike wouldn't have gotten credit for the flowers).

The next day before the funeral, Buffy and Dawn each sit alone and motionless in their respective bedrooms.

Buffy and Dawn

At the cemetery, everyone stands around the grave at the service. Buffy and Dawn stand together. The pastor speaks as the casket is lowered into the ground. At the "dust to dust" part of the speech, Dawn turns, crying, to Buffy's shoulder as Buffy stares hard at the casket. As the service ends, people give hugs and leave. Finally only Dawn, Buffy, Willow, and Tara remain. Tara tells Buffy that Dawn is ready to go, and Buffy agrees that Dawn should probably get out of there. Buffy remains, alone, still staring at her mother's grave; she stands there even as darkness falls. Come nighttime, Angel steps to her side, apologizing that he couldn't come sooner. Saying nothing, Buffy takes his hand.

At Willow's, Willow wishes that she could help more; trying to comfort Dawn, she tells her that things will get better. Dawn, who is obviously in the anger phase of the grieving process, insists that Willow doesn't know that. Tara's kind words don't seem to help Dawn, who goes over to the table to look at the magic stuff. Dawn announces that she knows what she wants to do: she wants to do a spell to bring her mother back.

Anya and Xander are finishing a round of "different, more intense" lovemaking. Anya says that it was because of Joyce; she explains that she realizes sex is about making life. Xander starts to panic a little when he thinks she wants to "make life" with him right away. She tells him to breathe; she's not ready yet. She explains that she just realizes that life could come out of their love, and that is beautiful.

Tara tells Dawn that they can't mess with the natural of order of things. Dawn argues that that's all they do. Willow says that she's not sure it's possible to resurrect someone. Tara says that isn't the point; Wiccans took an oath not to alter the fabric of life for selfish reasons. Hearing that, Dawn reasons that it must be possible or they wouldn't have taken such an oath. Tara says firmly that they can't do it, and Willow agrees that it is too dangerous. Dawn reminds them that they said they wanted to help her. Frustrated, she goes to lie down on her sleeping bag with her back to them. When Willow kneels at her side to try to comfort her, Dawn jerks away and turns her back to Willow.

Angel and Buffy

Buffy and Angel sit together in the cemetary. Buffy tells Angel that the funeral was brutal, but she's worried about tomorrow, when day-to-day life kicks in. Everyone expects her to know how to get on with life, but she says that her mother was the strong one. Angel tells her that she will find her way, though not all at once. Buffy says that she keeps wondering if she could've saved her mother if she'd arrived home just a few minutes earlier. She laments the way she reacted when she found her mother's body. Angel assures her that she is strong, even though she doesn't feel like it now. He tells her she doesn't have to do it alone; he offers to stay in town for as long as she wants. She asks if forever works for him, but she admits it's a bad idea because she is "seriously needy." Angel is confident that he can handle it. They look at each other for a moment and soon they are kissing passionately until they both pull away. Angel apologizes, but Buffy tells him that she's grateful he came because she didn't think she would make it through the night. Looking at the sky, Angel announces that he has a few more minutes before he has to go. Buffy settles against his chest and says, "Good."

Elsewhere, Jinx approaches Ben and tells him that Glory sent him; she encourages Ben's relationship with the Slayer because it could bring her information about the Key. As Ben is telling Jinx off, he inadvertently mentions that he wouldn't help Glory because he "would never to that to an innocent—" Jinx picks up on that and suddenly wants to leave. Ben keeps stopping him. He tries to deny that the Key is in human form, but Jinx is not buying it. Finally, Ben grabs Jinx's knife and stabs him with it to prevent Jinx from giving the information to Glory.

The next morning, Willow tells Dawn that she and Tara are going to breakfast and then they have to go to class. Dawn, giving Willow the cold shoulder, says that she was going to sleep some more, and Giles will pick her up later. Willow glances at Dawn who stares straight ahead. As Willow walks toward the door she pauses. Curling her hand, she uses magic to pull one of the books farther out on the shelf than the others. When Tara and Willow are gone, Dawn goes to the book right away, and begins flipping through it searching for information on resurrection.

Later, at the magic shop, Dawn dusts and furtively glances at the book titles, while Anya hovers nearby, clearly perturbed that Dawn is doing her job. Dawn cleverly asks Giles if there is anything "off-limits" that she should know about, and he points out the loft. A customer comes in and Anya rushes to help. As Giles steps into the back room, Dawn heads straight to the loft. She puts a few things into her backpack and descends the stairs just in time for Giles to tell her to come watch the transaction at the cash register.

That night, Dawn sits by her mother's grave following instructions in the book that she stole from the magic shop. Spike walks up behind her. Dawn nervously denies doing anything, but Spike recognizes the book. Dawn pleads that he not tell Buffy. She says, "I have to get her back." Spike says that he won't tell; he's going to help.

Giles sits alone in his apartment, the lights low, and has a drink while he plays the same record he and Joyce listened to in "Band Candy."

Spike and Dawn are going to see Doc, who is reported to know a lot about resurrection. Dawn says that she knows why Spike is helping her: "You're, like, stalking my sister." Spike says that he doesn't want Buffy to hear anything about what they're doing because she would stake him for it. Spike says he's helping her because he "doesn't like to see the Summers women take it so hard on the chin."

Jinx and Glory

Glory paces around her condo impatiently waiting for Jinx to return. Two other minions bring him in; Glory takes one's place at his side and helps Jinx to the sofa. Glory blames Buffy, but an ailing Jinx says that Ben is the one that did it. Glory turns away screaming in rage and tearing her hair out. Jinx reveals what he learned: the Key is in human form. Glory is ecstatic about this news. She orders the flunkies to fix Jinx so she can hear the story again without all the annoying moaning.

At Doc's, Dawn thinks it "smells like grandpa." Doc, an older gentleman comes out of the back room; he seems preoccupied with thinking that Spike is someone else. Dawn nervously says to Spike that maybe they should go. Spike tells Doc that Dawn's mom "kicked it" and they heard that Doc was the one that could tell them what to do about it. Doc says that those kinds of spells are dangerous and offers Dawn a tonic that will make the grieving fly by. Dawn refuses. Doc asks if either of them has experience with a spell of that magnitude. Doc plucks a hair from Dawn's head and examines it; he says that strong DNA indicates that her mother is a good candidate for resurrection. Humming, Doc goes to search for a book. Dawn notices a tail poking out from under Doc's housecoat. Doc finds the book that he's looking for. He tells Dawn that she needs the egg of a Ghora demon. He tells her what she'll need and writes down the correct incantation for her. He says that it'll take a while, but Joyce will come. Doc tells them that if anything goes wrong to tear up the image of her mother to reverse the spell. He warns them that he can't guarantee that she'll come back exactly like she was before. Dawns asks, "But she'll still be my mother, won't she?" Doc replies, "More or less." About to leave, Dawn starts counting money to give him, but Doc won't take it. Shaking Dawn's hand, he tells her to let him know how it goes. Dawn notices that his eyes go completely black. Jerking her hand back, she says she will.

Dawn and Spike

Dawn and Spike find the place that Doc said they could find the Ghora demon. Spike tells Dawn that she isn't going in, but she adamantly says that she is indeed, because someone has to grab the egg while he is distracting the demon. Dawn starts into the tunnel, and Spike mutters that she is a "bitty Buffy." Inside, they see the demon sleeping. Dawn observes that it'll have to move before she can get to the egg. Spike goes to loudly wake the demon up, and realizes that it has three heads. He fights with it while Dawn grabs an egg. Spike fights the Ghora until he sticks his ax into its side. As Dawn and Spike are leaving, Dawn drops the egg. Determined, she goes back for another, as Spike calls after her that he doesn't have a weapon. The demon goes to Dawn; one of its faces is inches from hers. Spike finally gets its attention, and it attacks him as Dawn gets another egg.

Later, Dawn sits in her room performing the spell.

At Willow's, Willow is writing down what she had for breakfast in her journal. She observes that life goes by fast and you lose stuff if you don't write it down. Glancing at the shelf, Tara notices that the book is missing; she deduces that Dawn took it. Nervous, Willow points out that it was just a history book and Dawn couldn't really do anything with it. Tara says that it points to specific spells and potions. Tara wonders if Dawn took anything else; Willow says that she didn't, nervously trying to avoid admitting what she did. Tara says that it's bad. Willow agrees that they need to call Buffy.


Buffy arrives home while the phone is ringing. Upstairs, Dawn is still chanting. Buffy enters Dawn's room and demands to know what she's done. Dawn says, "she's coming," and runs downstairs. Picking up the picture of Joyce, Buffy follows. Buffy tells Dawn that it's dangerous, and Joyce could come back wrong. She orders Dawn to stop it. They argue, and Dawn accuses Buffy of not caring that their mom died; sh angrily points out that Buffy's been running around like she's just trying to clean up Joyce's mess. Buffy slaps Dawn, then stops, shocked at herself. Buffy breaks down in tears, and says that when she stops doing those things, then Joyce is really gone. Buffy insists that she doesn't know what she's doing, and she wonders who is going to take care of them. Buffy tells Dawn that she didn't mean to push her away; she just couldn't let her sister see her like that. There's a knock at the door. Turning to look, Buffy says hopefully, "Mommy?" As she hurries to open it, Dawn knows what she has to do, and she tears the picture. Opening the door wide, Buffy finds nothing. Dawn comes to her side. Holding each other and sobbing, they fall to the floor in front of the open door.

Synopsis written by Anne @ Angel's Secrets.

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